New Delhi: India has kicked off the process to induct its first intercontinental ballistic missile Agni-V into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), 20 years after the country conducted the five Pokhran-II underground nuclear tests under ‘Operation Shakti’.
Defence sources on Friday said “several systems and subsystems” associated with the over 5,000-km-range missile, which brings the whole of China as well as parts of Europe and Africa under its strike range, “are being handed over” to the new Agni-V unit raised under the SFC.
Agni-V is an intercontinental ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India. Agni V is part of the Agni series of missiles, one of the missile systems under the original Integrated Guided Missile Development Program.
“The second pre-induction trial of Agni-V is slated to take place soon (the first one was on January 18 this year, after four developmental trials since April 2012). If successful like the earlier tests, the Agni-V unit with its missiles can be shifted to a strategic base,” said a source.
The tri-service SFC already has Prithvi-II (350-km), Agni-I (700-km), Agni-II (2,000-km) and Agni-III (3,000-km) missile units. While some Sukhoi-30MKI, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar fighters have also been jury-rigged to make them capable of delivering nuclear bombs, the third leg of the “nuclear triad” is represented only by the solitary nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant as of now.